Tag Archives: tennis

USTA Returns Serve in Genie Bouchard Concussion Lawsuit

(Editor’s Note: What follows is a brief excerpt from an article that appeared in the December issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. For more, subscribe at https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

The United States Tennis Association, Inc. (USTA), which operates the U.S. Open, has filed her answer to the lawsuit of tennis professional Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard, who sued the USTA after she suffered a concussion in a slip-and-fall accident that occurred on September 4, 2015.Tennis_Ball_web

At the time, Bouchard had just won a mixed-doubles match in the 2015 U.S. Open. In her complaint, she alleged that she fell because of a “slippery, foreign and dangerous substance” on the floor of the physiotherapy room of the women’s locker room.

Bouchard, who suffered a concussion, has withdrawn from numerous tournaments since the accident. She attempted to return to the sport in a match at the China Open on October 5, 2015 against Andrea Petkovic. However, she was unable to finish the match, complaining of dizziness. She has not returned to tennis since and has dropped in the rankings.

Bouchard is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for “economic loss, medical expenses and loss of enjoyment life” resulting from her head injury. Through her attorneys, the Morelli Ratner Law Firm, PLLC, she asserted causes of action for negligence against both the USTA and the USTA’s National Tennis Center, where the match was played. She alleged that they were collectively negligent in “failing to maintain, clean and repair the women’s locker room and physiotherapy room in a reasonably safe and suitable condition” and that they “had actual and/or constructive prior notice of the dangerous condition” which allegedly caused her to fall.

The USTA Claims Bouchard Was ‘Contributorily Negligent’

Among the arguments contained in its answer was the defendants’ assertion that “any and all risks of injury or dangers connected with the incident alleged in the complaint were at the time and place mentioned obvious, apparent and inherent risks and dangers, which … were known or should reasonably have been known by the plaintiff.”

Thus, Bouchard was “contributorily negligent” because, based on her “prior experience and knowledge,” she was aware of (for more, subscribe at https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

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Concussions Reach the Sport of Tennis, Hampering the Career of a Star

Young tennis star Eugenie Bouchard had the world by the tail in 2014, reaching the Wimbledon final as well as the semifinals at the Australian and French Open.

2015 has been anything but. And the year got progressively worse in September when she fell in the locker room after a third round match of the U.S. Open and suffered a concussion.file000996055093

Bouchard tried to come back at the China Open this week, but was forced to retire after she became dizzy in her opening match against Andrea Petkovic.

“I just asked her what happened, and she told me that she felt very dizzy,” Petkovic said in a press conference after the match. “Then I asked if it was the same, if it still was the concussion. She said, ‘Yeah, it tends to come back when she gets physically very active.’”

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NCAA Names Chief Medical Officer, Who Has Experience in Concussion Area

The NCAA has named Dr. Brian Hainline as its first chief medical officer.

Hainline, who currently serves as chief medical officer of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), will begin his new position in January 2013, according to NCAA President Mark Emmert.

“The NCAA was founded on the commitment to protect and enhance the health and well-being of student-athletes, and Dr. Hainline will elevate that commitment for the Association,” Emmert said.

One area of commitment will be concussions. Hainline currently serves as a director on a non-profit entity called the Seeing Stars Foundation, which is devoted to sports-related concussion awareness. He also served as an investigator in the “Retired NFL Player Concussion Study.”

Hainline’s overall responsibility at the NCAA will be to create a Center of Excellence at the NCAA, which will function as “a national resource to provide safety, health and medical expertise and research for physicians and athletic trainers.” He also will oversee all student-athlete health and safety initiatives and coordinate with the NCAA’s main sports medicine panel, the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

Hainline said in a statement that the NCAA is uniquely positioned nationally to build bridges across the country and deliver a powerful message about the overall wellness of student-athletes.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to emphasize that our first and foremost obligation is to student-athletes,” Hainline said. “I see my position as being devoted to doing everything possible to strengthen the health, safety and well-being of all student-athletes.

“Our collective goal is nothing short of a societal shift—for our country to think about the health and well-being for student-athletes from grade school to high school, to college and beyond.”

Hainline is also chief of neurology and integrative pain medicine at ProHEALTH Care Associates in Lake Success, N.Y. He also holds an appointment as a clinical associate professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine. He has served as the chief medical officer for the U.S. Open Tennis Championships from 1992 to 2007 and was appointed chief medical officer of the USTA in 2008.

Hainline has a background as a student athlete. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the team’s No. 1 singles and doubles player his senior year. He went on to earn his medical degree at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his residency in neurology at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

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